Pump Controllers and why use one

Pump Controllers

The benefits of water fed pole systems have been widely recognised for many years - in particular the safety of the operator who can clean windows several storeys high from the ground. Across the world water fed pole is a much used and trusted tool of the professional window cleaner.

Carrying the right equipment providing a full capability, plus know-how of when and where the right use of kit is important. By detailing all the options that people have, we can see the why, where, what, when, and how each option could have it benefits: Doing this, in turn, identifies the alternate set-ups that have their own benefits. The Operator then is empowered to increase their efficiency, which reflects in higher hourly rates

A range of systems are available, On-demand trolleys – Backpack – Mobile truck mounted - Traditional and others.

While the ability to connect to a local water supply and produce pure water on a site has advantages there will be occasions when it is necessary to carry the pure water to the site particularly on commercial and domestic building with no external water supply.

A solution would be to carry a tank so water can be taken to site and where available produced on site and stored. Buffer tank systems with a DC delivery pump are very flexible and compact in terms of footprint. The RHG Fill n Go fits this requirement.

Where a tank system is preferable the requirement to pump the water to the brush head becomes a necessity using either a gas powered generator or battery powered pump. When working with a tank based system, water use and battery charge come into play as you want to be as productive as possible from the charge in the battery and the water carried.

Production of pure water requires reverse osmosis and de-ionizing systems, filters, resin and a range of equipment, so again making the most productive use of each tank can earn additional $$$.

At it, most basic what does our pure water professional require in a tank WFP system?

  • A water tank
  • Hose line
  • Pole
  • Pump
  • Battery

You could think that is it? While this would provide the basis of your system, But is it the most cost effective and efficient system?

In the system above the pump will operate at its maximum at all times, perhaps as much as a gallon a minute or 60 gallons an hour. The pump is also pulling the maximum amount of current (amps) from the battery. Based on a gallon a minute pump, this could be up to 8 amps an hour, draining the battery very quickly.

Add the mechanical pressure on the pump hose lines and connectors which are more likely to fail if constantly working at maximum output, and it is easy to see this is not cost effective. Restrictions caused by the hose means that although the pump is producing maximum output perhaps only 50% of the water volume produced reaches the brush.

What then is an alternative solution

A pump controller added to your system will improve efficiency and provide the opportunity for additional work from the same tank and battery charge.

Using a V11 pump controller allows you to produce the required flow to clean the glass more efficiently. It is possible to reduce pump speed pump current draw and pressure to give the required water volume.

Run flat out the pump will draw 8 amps with perhaps only 50% of the water output reaching the glass. Slowing the pump reduces the current draw from the battery to between 2 & 4 amps meaning the charge in the battery lasts longer. By having the pump produce only the volume required at the glass we can apply the same water volume to the glass efficiently.

How is this possible? Well a hose has a maximum expansion point, If more water is forced into the hose than it can cope with the result is back pressure. In effect the hose now acts as a restriction working against the pump. In a recent test I used a 1.2 GPM pump run at maximum direct from the battery. The pump drew 7 amps of current with volume at the end of 300 feet of hose being 0.5 GPM. Using the same set up with a controller I was able to reduce pump current draw to 4 amps and still have the same 0.5 GPM at the end of 300 feet of hose. The Controller I could produce the same water volume more effciently.

System Pressure - Do we need to work at maximum pressure the whole time?

Running the system at maximum places a very high strain on the pump motor, hose lines, connectors and pump pressure switch. A pump regulator greatly reduces the risk of the pump pressure switch burning out. A pump working at maximum pressure is under a high inductive load (stored energy). The user is relying on the pressure switch to stop the pump when the flow is stopped.

The pump pressure switch cuts in at maximum pressure with the motor under a high load (and high stored energy) thus causing arcing across the circuit which then burns out the pressure switch. Our V11 pump controls use PWM (pulse width modulation) to manage the pump motor and reduce this high inductive load when the water flow and pump are stopped.

At maximum pressure you could have a jet of water up to 15 feet from the brush head, The water is bouncing back off the glass on to you and the ground and it is not cleaning the glass. A controller allows you to manage water volume to give exactly the volume required.


Many confuse water flow and Pressure. It is not necessary to have high pressure to gain good flow. Equally Simply having fast water does not equate to a good finish and working faster. The key is to have the required volume from the minimum pressure for each job. Reducing the system pressure will extend the life of a pump, connectors, and hose lines.

By managing the amount of water needed on a job the user also reduces how much pure water needs to be produced extending the life of DI resin and RO filters.

There will be occasions where higher flow volume is necessary. Equally, there is a need to be able to regulate flow to suit the conditions and the job at hand, therefore giving the user flexibility is key. In short, use only the water you need at each job.

The controls are very flexible as to the range of pumps, hose, and microbore they will work with. The pump pressures up the system in order to establish a flow. The controller needs to know what this pressure is. The amount of pressure required will in part depend on how fast the flow is or how far the pole is extended. To do this the controller will need to be calibrated to the pump and system.

Calibrate the controller to a pump.

What we are doing is telling the control what the maximum pressure the system normally operates at. To get a good flow at the brush head, the system is probably running between 40 - 70 PSI. So the control knows that the normal max level is 70 PSI. When a user stops the water flow the pump will attempt to push against the restriction increasing the pressure above 70 PSI the controller sees this sudden rise and stops the pump. This is what we refer to as DEAD END (DE).

During this DE (flow stopped period) the controller periodically retests the pressure at the pump. When the restriction is removed the pressure falls back below the 70PSI maximum and the controller restarts the pump at the preset flow. Hence the need with a two pole one control system to set the calibration to the longest pole which requires the greater pressure.

The control is designed to stop the pump before the pump pressure switch activates where the water flow has been stopped. A pump pressure switch may activate at 110PSI give or take (based on 100 PSI pump) as described earlier running the pump to these high levels can cause problems.

The instant there is a need to have a tank and pump delivery system a controller becomes the means to manage the system giving

  • Flexibility to vary water volume to suit each job site
  • Reduce system pressure and strain on the motor
  • Detects flow stopped and shuts off the pump,
  • Autotests for restored flow and restarts the pump
  • Displays battery voltage
  • Auto adjusts the pressure to compensate for extending the pole
  • Reduces pump current draw
  • Easy to use and install
  • Available with Radio remote

The Control is designed to work with a 12V DC 7amp pump 1.2 Gallon pump (5.2) LTR a minute. The maximum current rating for the control is 10amps. The control will operate with a 9V DC supply and a larger pump providing that the maximum current rating is not exceeded.

For use with larger volume pumps of up to 30 amps we have a V11 High Current controller.

Water Fed Pole Systems See http://springltd.co/v11-high-current

The V11 controller range is the result of a number of years development. We have worked very closely with system builders, professional window cleaners and distributors to produce a controller that does what people need easily and quickly. Our starting point has been to look at what is required at the glass then work back through the system to give the desired result.

V11 Controllers are Hard working tools for hard working people designed for day in day out use reliably. They are easy to set up plus continuous support.

The moment a Tank with Pump Delivery becomes a need. A Pump Controller becomes a must. Flexible – hardwearing designed for purpose. A controller allows you to work smarter.

For sales in the USA RHG J Racenstein WRCA For Information on controllers: www.springltd.co

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